A program that helps couples reduce the rate of HIV transmission and grow closer emotionally is so successful it’ll soon spread across California. The initial program, conducted by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, asked 535 straight African-American serodiscordant couples to take part in Eban practices, a Nigerian concept encouraging communication and safer behaviors. Researchers found the Eban intervention encouraged safer sex and prevented dozens of participants from contracting HIV.
Now, thanks to a $2.5 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, the Eban program will be utilized by community-based agencies throughout California.
“The Eban II Project aims to deepen our understanding of how to best help African-American couples enhance their health,” lead investigator Gail Wyatt says in a statement. “We hope the project will create a comfortable space for romantic partners to talk about their health concerns while encouraging each other to lead healthier lives.”
If Eban II succeeds, the project is likely to go national.